Welcome back and thanks for joining us again at The Kronzek Firm for this discussion on the challenges faced by juveniles when trying to understand their Constitutional rights. As we pointed out before, studies have shown that teens don’t really understand what it means when they’re read their Miranda rights. They may know what the words mean – they can call a lawyer, they can choose not to tell the officer information – but do they really understand the far-reaching consequences of their choices in that moment? Is their choice an informed or intelligent choice? The answer is no to all three of those questions. So what are we doing about it?
Revised Miranda warnings for teens would help!
The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, whose research revealed teens lack of understanding about Miranda rights to begin with, has suggested a different set of Miranda rights especially for teens. Change is always slow to catch on, though, especially when people have done something a certain way for years (in this case – decades!). However, the King County Sheriff’s Department in Washington State has already made the switch to a simpler “teen oriented” set of Miranda rights.
After hearing about the fact that teens struggle to understand their Miranda rights, the department collaborated with the King County public defender’s office and a local community non profit to come up with a revised set of Miranda warnings that could be read to teens. They also consulted with neurologists on the development of the human brain during the teenage years, and then focus-grouped the new Miranda warnings with local teens.
King County’s revised Miranda rights are repetitive and simple
In the end, the revised Miranda rights that officers now read to minors in King County include repeated information about free help from an attorney. They also state repeatedly the fact that minors don’t have to talk to the cops, and that it’s perfectly okay to keep quiet and say nothing to anyone until they have a chance to talk to a lawyer.Some people were skeptical about the new version, and worried that kids would be encouraged to avoid confessions. However officers say it doesn’t seem to have had a negative effect on juvenile cases there in King County.
In the wake of King County’s decision to revise Miranda warnings for youth, other departments around the country are considering the same. The Seattle Police Department has expressed an interest, and the New York City Police Department has already made changes to the version their officers read to teens. Michigan, however, has not yet jumped onto that bandwagon according to the criminal defense attorneys at The Kronzek Firm. So far, there are no law enforcement departments in Michigan that have made strides towards simplifying Miranda warnings for minors.
Minors arrested in Michigan need help from experienced defense attorneys!
When a minor is arrested in Michigan, they are suddenly thrust into a criminal justice system that’s stacked against them. They are faced with difficult situations they’re expected to navigate, and challenges they have to overcome. It can be exceptionally difficult for minors to deal with the difficulties of interrogation, incarceration, court dates, and everything else that comes with being arrested.
That’s why it’s so important to ensure that they have an experienced defense attorney who understands the complexities of juvenile defense in Michigan. If your child has been accused of a crime in Michigan, we urge you to call The Kronzek Firm immediately at 866 766 5245. (1 866-7NoJail) Our experienced criminal defense attorneys have been helping parents and kids in Michigan for decades. We can help your child too!